Ireland, Norway, Mexico, India join Estonia as UNSC non-permanent members ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A UNSC sitting in New York.
A UNSC sitting in New York. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Four countries have been elected to join Estonia on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members.

The quartet elected were Ireland, Norway, Mexico and India, who secured the two thirds majority needed to qualify in the first round in the vote at UN headquarters Wednesday.

Five spots are available; a second ballot Thursday will decide between Djibouti and Kenya on who will take the fifth seat.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael) was swift to offer his congratulations on the country's success, widely seen as a vindication of its foreign policy stances, which include supporting a two-state solution in the Middle East, and on the back of a campaign which called on the talents of veteran U2 frontman Bono.

Canada, who similarly relied on singer Celine Dion in their lobbying, lost out in the vote.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu sent his congratulations to the new members in a tweet on Thursday morning.

Estonia a non-permanent member 2020-2021

Estonia was elected on June 7 last year, along with Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There are 10 non-permanent members sitting on the UNSC, elected for two-year terms and staggered into two groups, in other words every year five seats are rotated.

The five permanent UNSC members are China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.

Widely considered the most influential UN body, tasked with overseeing security and focusing on the world's trouble spots in an effort to mediate, the UNSC can convene meetings whenever it sees fit, as opposed to the more fixed meetings held by the UN General Assembly.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of these meetings have been held via remote video link, rather than traveling to UN headquarters in Manhattan, a move which Estonia's foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) recently said had actually led to an uptick in participation.

Nine votes in favor are required for the adoption of an important resolution, while all five permanent members have the right of veto.

The UNSC presidency rotates every month; Estonia held this through the month of May, and will do again next year.

While the five new members are to be voted on this week, they will not take up their seats until the beginning of 2021. Estonia's term expires at the end of that year.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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